Mumbai is often regarded as India's Capital of Hope. Often wondering why this is so, I made a fruitful trip down to the busy city, solving most of my queries.
Mumbai consists of seven islands, joined by land reclamation. Many Indians, especially those from the rural areas, regard Mumbai as their paradise, since they could find work relatively easily here, as compared to their homelands.
Being the pillar for revenue collection, Mumbai's economic growth has far outperformed the other cities. In fact, its’ per capita (head) production of goods and services is about three times greater than that of Delhi - India's second most prosperous city. Despite the economic boom, Mumbai gives me an astonishing image of deterioration when I first stepped into the city.
The ostentatiously dignified imperial buildings, erected by the British, are so overly populated that they look as if they are toppling over any minute. There are the 1950s kind of black and yellow taxis, which appeared as if brutally thrashed, lining up like ants trails, clotting up the small avenues. Amidst the dins of traffic jams, stood the oppressed-looking buildings of Benetton outlets, foreign car dealerships, croissant-serving outlets and so on.
Though unemployment is not a significant problem in Mumbai, housing is. A visit in Dharavi, a slum area in Mumbai will help clarify our imagination. The Mumbaiites' so called "houses" are actually movable shacks, built from unwanted bits of tarpaulin, tin and cardboard. There are so many of them that a maze of alleys emerged, passable only when I walked sideways like a crab between them. Curious about the living conditions, I wondered around the maze, meeting groups of scantily clad kids and hungry, stray dogs. Popping my inquisitive head into one of the small huts, I was totally amazed by their living conditions. Estimating about twelve or more Mumbaiites living in each hut, these two-storey houses are usually partitioned by rough platforms with ceilings no higher than five feet from the ground. Furthermore, `these shacks look absolutely bare -- no furniture and I deduced that the inhabitants eat and sleep on the ground.
In spite of the poor living conditions, many Indians still hope to migrate to Mumbai. Interviewing a few of the newcomers, a majority of them said that they came to Mumbai to find jobs. There are some who regard Mumbai as buoyant floats, saving them from natural disasters and tyrannies in their homelands.
Make a summary of not more than 120 words, describing the emergence of paper money used widely today.
Buying things today is so simple. Just enter a shop, say a book store, choose the desired book and pay for it. Long ago, before the invention of money, how did people trade?
The most primitive way of exchange should be the barter trade. In this form of transaction, people used goods to exchange for the things that they had in mind. For instance, if person A wanted a book and he had a spare goat, he must look for someone who had the exact opposite, that is, that someone, say person B, must have a spare book of person A's choice and is also in need of a goat. Having found such a person, the problem does not end here. A big goat may worth not only one book, hence person B may have to offer person A something else, say five chickens. However, he runs the risk of person A rejecting the offer as he may not need the chickens. The above example clearly illustrates the inefficiency of barter trading.
Many years later, the cumbersome barter trade finally gave way to the monetary form of exchange when the idea of money was invented. In the early days, almost anything could qualify as money: beads, shells and even fishing hooks. Then in a region near Turkey, gold coins were used as money. In the beginning, each coin had a different denomination. It was only later, in about 700 BC, that Gyges, the king of Lydia, standardized the value of each coin and even printed his name on the coins.
Monetary means of transaction at first beat the traditional barter trade. However, as time went by, the thought of carrying a ponderous pouch of coins for shopping appeared not only troublesome but thieves attracting. Hence, the Greek and Roman traders who bought goods from people faraway cities, invented checks to solve the problem. Not only are paper checks easy to carry around, they discouraged robbery as these checks can only be used by the person whose name is printed on the notes. Following this idea, banks later issued notes in exchange for gold deposited with them. These bank notes can then be used as cash. Finally, governments of today adopted the idea and began to print paper money, backed by gold for the country's use.
Today, besides enjoying the convenience of using paper notes as the mode of exchange, technology has led man to invent other means of transaction too like the credit and cash cards.
Make a summary of not more than 120 words, describing the various means of transportation.
The means of transportation has changed and improved over many centuries. Long ago, during the times of the kings and knights, animals such as horses, buffaloes and camels were used by man for transportation purposes. These animals no doubt did save man from traveling by foot, they took a long time to complete the journeys, especially when transporting goods.
In 1825, George Stephenson's opening of the first railway marked a significant progress in the history of transportation. Railways were in popular demand because they could carry more people and loads. More importantly, they ran faster than animals. Railways improved the communication networks and hence, imports and exports of goods and people traveling out of their towns or even countries to work were made possible. Unfortunately, since the invention of motor vehicles, the popularity of railways has declined.
Motor vehicles were first invented in the eighteenth century. These vehicles were preferred by many people as they do not run on tracks and hence do not have fixed routes. Travelers can then plan their own routes to suit their convenience. This is especially so when the destinations are places like small towns or remote areas. In these places, few or even none of the trains ever reach them; so traveling by the motor vehicle would solve this problem. Over many years of modifications, the motor vehicle is now one of the most commonly used means of transportation. Today, we travel in cars, taxis, buses, lorries or vans almost every day.
Another form of transportation is by water. It may be the slowest but definitely the cheapest form of bulk transportation. Though over the centuries of innovations, water transportation has improved from the ancient wind dependent yachts to the modern motor driven ships, journeys by water are still characterized by the dangers and unpredictability of meeting natural disasters like the storms.
The evolution of world transportation has reached its pinnacle with the invention of airplanes. Transportation by planes is the easiest and fastest. Planes gliding smoothly in the air, are not obstructed by seas, hills, buildings and so on. Though convenient, this means of transport is the most expensive. Despite the popular demand, the transportation network of the planes is still not a balanced and complete one till today. Developed countries tend to make use of air transportation more frequently than the less developed ones as they do more exporting and importing of goods and also have more people traveling to and fro their countries. Hence, the networks in these developed countries are denser.